Our history

"... It is not intended to teach the trade of the Machine-Maker, the Dyer, the Carpenter, the Mason, or any other particular business, but there is no Art which does not depend, more or less, on scientific principles, and to teach what these are, and to point out their practical application, will form the chief objects of this institution."

The original rules of the The Manchester Mechanics' Institution, 1824
Archive of the Manchester Mechanics' Institution

The Manchester Mechanics' Institution (MMI) was the creation of a small group of Manchester's business leaders, interested in popular education and familiar with contemporary scientific and intellectual culture. The three individuals who devised the original plan were typical of this group: William Fairbairn was the owner of a large engineering firm, Richard Roberts, the inventor of the self-acting spinning mule and Thomas Hopkins was active in local politics.

Archive of the Manchester Mechanics' Institution

further information

Engineering at The University of Manchester

1824 A rapid increase in the town's population created a need to educate working men in basic principles of science prompted Manchester wealthy manufacturers and industrialists to establish The Manchester Mechanics' Institution. It became the largest mechanics' institution in England, outside London. The Institution provided a range of educational instruction to local people until the 1880s.
1851 Owens College was open for the education of males on non-sectarian lines. It was the legacy of the John Owens who based upon his own ideas of education bequeathed his fortune for the foundation of a college in 1846 that made way for the establishment of the Owens College.
1880 Owens College was given a status of the England's first civic university, the Victoria University, a federal university for the North of England.
1892  After a brief period as part of  the Whitworth Institute of Art and Industry, the Mechanics Institution comes under control of Manchester Council, and is renamed the Manchester Municipal Technical School.
1903 Victoria University dissolved. Establishment of The Victoria University of Manchester.
1905 The Victoria University of Manchester establishes a Faculty of Technology at the Technical School to teach university-level courses in technology
1918 The Technical School is renamed Manchester Municipal College of Technology.
1956 Local authority control ends. Establishment of the Manchester College of Science and Technology, granted a charter and receives direct funding from the University Grants Committee 
1966 The Manchester College of Science and Technology is renamed University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)  
2004 The Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST merged to form The University of Manchester

▲ Up to the top